Articles by: Anjan Basu

 Hirak Rajar Deshe, a fable  forty years ahead of its time

 Hirak Rajar Deshe, a fable  forty years ahead of its time

 Satyajit Ray’s film is a heady cocktail of dystopia and comic fantasy                     Eleven years after Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (‘The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha’) came its sequel, Hirak Rajar Deshe (‘The Kingdom of Diamonds’), in December, 1980. In the interregnum, Satyajit Ray had made eight full-length feature films, one television short and three documentaries, and the genres[Read More…]

May 26, 2020 Arts/Literature
Looking Back At ‘Sadgati’: An Artistic Peak Satyajit Ray Himself Touched Only Rarely             

Looking Back At ‘Sadgati’: An Artistic Peak Satyajit Ray Himself Touched Only Rarely             

                            Sadgati (1981) marked a watershed in Satyajit Ray’s career. He suffered a massive heart attack soon after Sadgati was in the can, and never recovered fully from the blow. And he was not quite the same artist ever again. You realise this as you watch Sadgati after[Read More…]

April 30, 2020 Arts/Literature
No modern-day historian held up the mirror to the ruptured spirit of our culture as fully as Eric Hobsbawm

No modern-day historian held up the mirror to the ruptured spirit of our culture as fully as Eric Hobsbawm

Hobsbawms’s posthumous collection of essays, ‘Fractured Times- Culture and Society in the Twentieth Century’(2013), is a tour de force of cultural history                              Eric Hobsbawm ( 9 June, 1917 – 1 October, 2012) In the preface to Fractured Times he wrote just days before his death, Eric Hobsbawm put his future reader on notice that it was going to be[Read More…]

June 3, 2019 Arts/Literature
India under Narendra Modi: A throwback to the Germany of the 1930s, or are we imagining things?

India under Narendra Modi: A throwback to the Germany of the 1930s, or are we imagining things?

We can choose not to see what we don’t want to – but we can do so only at our own peril As a boy, the German novelist Max von der Grun heard  the news of Hitler becoming the Reich Chancellor over the radio on 30 January, 1933 . Two days later, he and his family listened to Hitler speaking[Read More…]

April 9, 2019 India
The story of the higgledy-piggledy world of the Indian banking industry today

The story of the higgledy-piggledy world of the Indian banking industry today

Nothing happening in the country right now seems to surprise us any more, so  few people  took any notice of  a statement made recently by Injeti Srinivas, the Union Secretary of Corporate Affairs. Speaking on the sidelines of a CII event on 25 February, Srinivas defended a judgement, recorded by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the IL&FS[Read More…]

March 24, 2019 India
The Agony and Pathos of Lenin’s Last Days

The Agony and Pathos of Lenin’s Last Days

Ever the clear-eyed realist, Lenin knew what the Revolution had failed to achieve. And this knowledge tormented him in the last weeks of his life.                                                       Vladimir Lenin in the summer of 1923 There is a photograph of Lenin in a wheelchair, from sometime in the summer of 1923, in which he is flanked on one side by his[Read More…]

January 24, 2019 Life/Philosophy
Noam Chomsky: the greatest living challenger of unjust power and delusions

Noam Chomsky: the greatest living challenger of unjust power and delusions

 On his 90th birthday, a tribute to the man whose life more than anyone else’s tells us what it takes to be human Six weeks after 9/11, Noam Chomsky was on a brief lecture-tour in India when one of his engagements took him to the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. There, in the Q&A after his talk, a budding[Read More…]

November 15, 2018 Life/Philosophy